Over 30 Years of Research

Lonza has conducted several human studies in collaboration with universities and research centers around the world to study the benefits of Carnipure® L-Carnitine in human nutrition. Since L-Carnitine has a central role in metabolism, the Carnipure® ingredient has been shown to be beneficial for many areas of health.

Recently, Lonza celebrated its 30th anniversary of Carnipure® L-Carnitine, which has relied on continued scientific support as the foundation for success. Decades of scientific analysis and discovery, backed by a dedication to technical and sales support, have established an environment that drives consumer awareness and usage today. These efforts have helped establish Carnipure® L-Carnitine as a leading sports nutrition and weight management ingredient across the globe.

Lonza’s history with the Carnipure® ingredient started in 1985. At that time, the role of L-Carnitine in metabolism had already been established. The need for adding L-Carnitine to infant formula had been proposed, especially in soy-based formulas, which do not contain natural L-Carnitine. In the late 1990s, Lonza began investing strategically in human clinical trials by developing new applications. Partnering with researchers from the University of Connecticut (USA) and using Carnipure® tartrate resulted in new insights into L-Carnitine’s role in exercise recovery. Between 2001 and 2010, this group in collaboration with Lonza published nine peer-reviewed scientific articles providing evidence that Carnipure® supplementation can decrease markers of oxidative stress not only in healthy males of student age, but also in males and females of the baby boomer generation.

Due to its exemplary application flexibility, Carnipure® L-Carnitine provides beneficial support across multiple product categories. It was first utilized as an essential ingredient in infant nutrition. As the science progressed, it was incorporated into dietary supplements and later into functional foods and beverages. Improved food technology has allowed L-Carnitine to mature and secure a strong position in the areas of energy metabolism, sports nutrition, weight management, infant nutrition, animal feed and pet care.


Sports: Exercise & Recovery
Carnipure® L-Carnitine plays an important role in facilitating the recovery process in response to physical activity. In this role, Carnipure® L-Carnitine helps to protect the endothelial cells from an L-Carnitine deficiency (thereby positively influencing the markers of purine catabolism), reduce tissue damage and muscle soreness and facilitate the overall process of recovery. Therefore, Carnipure® L-Carnitine is emerging as a key ingredient in exercise and recovery type formulations across the globe.

Specifically, Carnipure® L-Carnitine provides benefits in this application ranging from increasing blood flow, reducing markers of metabolic stress, decreasing muscle soreness and improving recovery time.


Weight Management

In the case of weight management, decreasing fat mass while preserving muscle mass is the ultimate goal. To decrease body fat, it must be used for energy via beta-oxidation. While weight management and sustained energy are different applications, both require using fatty acids, breaking them down, and converting them into energy in the form of ATP. Carnipure® L-Carnitine is the nutrient needed to help support this conversion of fat into metabolic energy. As Carnipure® supplementation can increase beta-oxidation, this results in glucose sparing and decreased breakdown of amino acids for energy production.



In the case of sustained energy, converting fatty acids into ATP (adenosine triphosphate) can provide a more long lasting source of energy.


  • Karlic H et al. (2002). J Histochem Cytochem 50(2):205–212
  • Kuhajda FP & Ronnett GV (2007). Curr Opin Investig Drugs 8(4):312–317
  • Wutzke KD & Lorenz H (2004). Metabolism 53(8):1002–1006
  • Müller DM et al. (2002). Metabolism 51(11):1389–1391
  • Wall et al. (2011). J Physiol 589(4):963–973
  • Malaguarnera M et al. (2007). Am J Clin Nutr 86:1738–1744
  • Pistone G et al. (2003). Drugs Aging 20(10):761–767
  • Cha YS et al. (2001). J Nutr Sci Vitaminol 47:378–384
  • Murosaki S et al. (2007). J Nutr 137:2252–2257
  • Owen KQ et al. (2001). J Anim Sci 79(12):3104–3112
  • Sufeng Z et al. (1997). Acta Nutr Sin 19(2):146
  • Sawyer et al. (2010). Med Sci Sports Exerc. 42(5):445
  • Lurz R & Fischer R (1998). Aerztez f Naturheilverf 39(1):12–15
  • Kaats GR et al. (1992). Curr Ther Res 51(2):261–274
Infant Nutrition

Breast milk contains L-Carnitine, which is required for the transport of long-chain fatty acids and other organic acids across mitochondrial membranes. Young infants fed diets with low L-Carnitine concentrations develop reduced plasma and tissue L-Carnitine levels, and they may further develop disorders related to fatty acid oxidation, metabolism of acyl-CoA compounds, ketogenesis and nitrogen balance. The ESPGHAN Committee on Nutrition (European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology Hepatology and Nutrition) recommends that infant formula contain L-Carnitine at levels similar to those found in breast milk. L-Carnitine synthesis in newborns is less efficient than in adults, and appears to be insufficient to meet the requirements. Therefore, L-Carnitine is regarded as a conditionally essential nutrient for infants and children.


  • Greer FR (2009). Nestle Nutr Workshop Ser Pediatr Program 66:191–203
  • Vaz FM & Wanders JA (2002). Biochem J 361:417-429
  • Knüttel-Gustavsen S & Harmeyer J (2007). Food Chem 105(2):793–804
  • Rebouche CJ (1992). FASEB J 6:3379–3386
  • Borum PR (1995). J Child Neurol 10:2S25–2S31
  • Campoy C et al. (1998). Early Hum Dev 53:S149–S164
  • Baltzell JK et al. (1987). J Nutr 117(4):754–757
  • Rubecz I et al. (1984). Acta Paediatr Hung 25(1-2):165–171
  • Penn D et al. (1980). Early Human Dev 4(1):23–34
  • Rebouche CJ & Engel AG (1980). Biochim Biophys Acta 630:22–29
  • Chace DH et al. (2003). Pediatr Res 53:823–829
  • Lehotay DC et al. (2011). Clin Biochem 44(1):21–31
  • Lindner M et al. (2010). J Inherit Metab Dis 33(5):521–526
  • Wilcken B (2008). Ann Acad Med Singapore 37 (Suppl 3):71–73
  • Schulpis K et al. (2008). Clin Chem Lab Med 46(5):680–686
  • Strack E et al. (1960). Z Kinderheilkd 84:458–468
  • Rubaltelli FF et al. (1987). Biol Neonate 52(S1):65–77
  • Melegh B et al. (1987). Biol Neonate 51:185–193
  • Sandor A et al. (1982). Perinat Res 16:89–91
  • Giovannini M et al. (1991). J Int Med Res 19:88–102
  • Schmidt-Sommerfeld E et al. (1985). J Perinat Med 13:107–116
  • Barth CA et al. (1985). Compos Physiol Prop Hum Milk 229–238
  • Olson AL et al. (1989). J Clin Nutr 49:624–628
  • Winter SC et al. (1987). AJDC 141:660–665
  • Zmora E et al. (1979). Am J Dis Child 133:141–144
  • Slonim AE et al. (1981). J Pediatr 99(4):551–556
  • Kanaka C et al. (1992). Eur J Pediatr 151:786–788
  • Ohtani Y et al. (1985). J Paediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 4:845–846
  • Penn D et al. (1987). Biol Neonate 52:70–79
  • Ferreira IM (2003). Brit J Nutr 90:127–133
  • Warshaw JB & Curry E (1980). J Pediatr 97(1):122–125
  • Borum PG et al. (1979). Am J Clin Nutr 32 :2272–2276
  • Urgell MR et al. (2005). Nutr Hosp 20:135–146
  • Arenas J et al. (1998). Early Hum Dev 53:S43–S50
  • Novak M (1990). Biol Neonate 58(1):89–92
  • Novak M et al. (1979). Pediat Res 13:10–15
  • Schmidt-Sommerfeld E et al. (1978). Pediatr Res 12:660–664
  • Novak M et al. (1983). Acta Chir Scand S 517:149–155
  • Rebouche CJ et al. (1990). Am J Clin Nutr 52:820–824
  • Borum PR (1985). Can J Physiol Pharmacol 63 :571–576
  • Borum PR (1981). Nutr Rev 39(11):385–390
  • Scaglia F & Longo N (1999). Sem Perinat 23(2):152–161
  • Schmidt-Sommerfeld E & Penn D (1996). In: Seim H & Loester H (eds): Carnitine – Pathobiochemical Basics and Clinical Applications. Ponte Press Bochum
  • Shenai JP & Borum PR (1984). Pediat Res 18(7):679–681
  • Mele gh B (1990). Biol Neonate 58(1):93–106
  • Crill CM & Helms RA (2007). Nutr Clin Pract 22(2):204-213
  • ESPGAN Committee on Nutrition (1990). Acta Paediatr Scand 79(10):1001–1005
  • ESPGAN Committee on Nutrition (1991). Acta Paediatr Scand 80:887–896
  • Scientific Committee on Food (2003).
  • ESPGHAN Committee on Nutrition (2005). J Pediatr Gastroent Nutr 41:584–599
  • Codex Alimentarius (2007).
  • EU Commission (2006). Official J Europ Union L401/1
  • EU Commission (2006). Official J Europ Union L 339/16–35
Healthy Aging

Elderly people have a lower energy demand and eating habits change with age. For example, they usually consume less meat. At the same time, the dietary intake of both L-Carnitine and the nutrients required to make L-Carnitine is reduced. A decreased endogenous synthesis could also be shown by researchers. A decrease of L-Carnitine in various body compartments with age has often been described in literature. The resulting reduction in energy metabolism due to lower L-Carnitine levels can be restored by L-Carnitine supplementation.



There is increasing evidence that L-Carnitine may play an important role during pregnancy, particularly in women following a meat-reduced or vegetarian diet for which daily L-Carnitine intake may be too low to meet the increased needs during pregnancy. Due to its excellent safety profile, Carnipure®supplementation may be appropriate for pregnant women to restore their L-Carnitine plasma levels and at the same time decrease plasma free fatty acids. Of course, pregnant women should always consult a physician before taking any dietary supplement. The studies below explain the role L-Carnitine plays to benefit pregnancy-related changes in L-Carnitine metabolism, the role it plays for the placenta, and its effects on lipid metabolism and glucose levels.


Male Fertility

L-Carnitine may play an important role in male reproductive health, mainly due to increased mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation, which results in improved motility of epididymal sperm. Clinical studies suggest that L-Carnitine supplementation over a period of 3 to 6 months can positively affect sperm concentration, sperm count, the percentage of motile sperm, and the percentage of sperm with rapid progression. Carnipure® supplementation should be considered by men interested in supporting their reproductive system.



view more Carnipure studies »